1. Introduction

1.1

The Central Academic Bodies and central activities of the University of London (“the central University”) recognises the importance of maintaining harmonious and good working relationships and the contribution this will make in supporting delivery of a high quality service to internal and external customers of the central University.

1.2

The central University is committed to providing a fair and effective mechanism for handling grievance issues and this procedure sets out the guiding principles for ensuring that grievance issues are dealt with in a fair, prompt and consistent way across the central University.

1.3

All employees have the right to seek resolution for grievances/disputes either on an individual or collective basis. This procedure provides information to employees detailing how to raise a grievance, and outlines how it will be dealt with by the central University.

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2. Scope

2.1

This procedure applies to all employees of the central University, University staff deployed to Health Education England and where a grievance/dispute involves an academic member of staff, this should be read alongside Ordinance 20. It does not apply to agency workers, or those with a contract for services.

2.2

Where an individual discovers information which he or she believes relates to malpractice/wrong-doing, it may be more appropriate for the matter to be raised under the Public Interest Disclosure ('whistleblowing') policy.

2.3

This procedure will not apply in instances where a case has previously been raised and/or seen through to appeal via another procedure.

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3. General Principles

3.1

Most problems at work can be resolved informally at an early stage. Where this is not possible the formal stages of the central University’s Grievance Procedure may be applied.

3.2

Time limits expressed below may be extended at the discretion of the central University where reasonably necessary. If you request an extension to the time limits, the central University will not unreasonably withhold agreement. Where possible, agreement will be sought between the central University and you as to the limit of any extension in time.

3.3

You are entitled to be accompanied at any formal meeting under this procedure by a colleague from the central University or a trade union representative. Your companion may:

  • address the meeting;
  • ask questions on your behalf;
  • present and summarise your case;
  • respond on your behalf to any views expressed at the meeting;
  • confer with you during the meeting; • request adjournments.

Your companion may not:

  • answer questions on your behalf;
  • address the meeting against your wishes;
  • prevent management from explaining the case

3.4 If you have a disability (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) then arrangements for any formal meeting under this procedure will include consideration of any requirements for reasonable adjustments.

3.5 You are not permitted to use any form of electronic recording device during any meeting under this procedure. Should the central University later find that any recording devices were used, this will be regarded as a serious breach of trust and confidence and you may be subject to disciplinary action.

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4. Raising a Grievance

4.1

If you are an employee of the central University and have a grievance relating to:

  • your work;
  • your working conditions;
  • your pay and benefits;
  • your working hours;
  • treatment by your colleagues or your manager(s);
  • concerns about your health and safety;
  • a breach of your statutory employment rights;
  • any other issue affecting your employment;

You should, in the first instance, discuss the matter on an informal basis with your immediate line manager or, if the issue involves your immediate line manager, you should raise the matter with their manager. They will discuss your concerns with you in confidence, make discreet investigations, and attempt to resolve the matter speedily and fairly.

4.2

If attempts to resolve your grievance informally are unsuccessful, you should write to your immediate line manager or their manager (as appropriate) setting out your grievance and the basis for it. This should include reference to specific dates, times and places, the names of any witness(es) (where applicable) to the incidents, the action taken to resolve the matter so far and also details of the outcome or remedy sought.

4.3

If you initiate the Grievance Procedure the matter will be addressed as confidentially as possible. However, where your complaint is against a member of staff (referred to as ‘the respondent’), a summary of your grievance will be shared with them, and they will have the right to respond to the issues raised. In addition, the respondent will be informed of the outcome of your grievance, and will be advised of any recommendations that relate to them. Where witnesses are involved, they will be given a brief summary of your grievance (to the extent that it is relevant to the enquiries being made with them), in order to enable a full investigation to be undertaken.

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5. Stage 1

5.1

On receipt of your written grievance, your immediate line manager (or their manager) or Human Resources may arrange a preliminary meeting with you to understand the grievance and to obtain, where appropriate, further explanation or information from you.

5.2

Following any preliminary enquiries, a suitably competent Stage 1 Reviewer will be appointed to hear your grievance. They will not have previously been involved in the case. The Stage 1 Reviewer will be given a copy of your grievance, and any other information that is available. They will then devise a plan for investigating and hearing your grievance. Depending on the grievance raised, an initial investigation may be undertaken before a formal meeting takes place with you.

5.3

You will be invited to a formal grievance meeting with the Stage 1 Reviewer, at which you will be asked to present your concerns, discuss the relevant evidence, and outline the remedy you are seeking. You will be given at least five working days’ notice of the meeting. A representative from Human Resources will normally attend the meeting to provide procedural advice and to take notes.

5.4

You are entitled to be accompanied by a colleague from the central University or a trade union representative at the formal grievance meeting (see 3.3 above). If your companion is not available to attend the meeting, the meeting may be postponed for up to five working days from the date of the original meeting, to ensure your companion can attend.

5.5

Following the meeting, HR will send the meeting notes to the Stage 1 Reviewer for agreement. Once agreed by the Stage 1 Reviewer, a copy of the notes will be circulated to you for review.

5.6

Following the formal grievance meeting, the Stage 1 Reviewer will confirm the outcome to you in writing, normally within five working days of the meeting. Where the Stage 1 Reviewer requires further time to investigate/consider your grievance this will be advised to you in writing, along with an estimate of the additional time required.

5.7

The written outcome will include the Stage 1 Reviewer’s decision in relation to your grievance. Their options are to uphold your grievance in full or in part, or to dismiss your grievance. The outcome may also include one or more recommendations, and, if your grievance is not upheld, will outline your right of appeal. Where the complaint is against another member of staff, and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that there is a case for them to answer, proceedings may be initiated under the Disciplinary Procedure.

5.8

Where your complaint is deemed by the Stage 1 Reviewer to be potentially vexatious or malicious, the central University reserves the right to instigate proceedings under the Disciplinary Procedure. Complaints considered to be vexatious or malicious would include those that appear, through reasonable investigation, to have been made in bad faith or without merit or foundation, for the purposes of causing harm or disadvantage to the respondent or the institution.

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6. Stage 2

6.1

You may appeal the decision of the Stage 1 Reviewer if you believe you have sufficient grounds to do so. The purpose of the appeal is for the original decision to be reviewed by another manager, in order to ensure that nothing was overlooked at Stage 1.

6.2

Your appeal should be made in writing to Human Resources within five working days of you receiving the outcome of Stage 1. It should clearly outline the grounds for your appeal, and why you feel they apply in the circumstances. Appropriate grounds for appeal would include the following:

  • The procedure was not followed
  • Certain evidence was not adequately considered by the Stage 1 Reviewer
  • Substantial new evidence or information is now available

Disagreement with the decision made by the Stage 1 Reviewer is not in itself sufficient grounds for appeal.

6.3

On receipt of your appeal, a suitably competent Stage 2 Reviewer will be appointed to hear your appeal. The Stage 2 Reviewer will not have been involved in the case previously and will, where reasonably practicable, be from the next level of management above the Stage 1 Reviewer.

6.4

Within ten working days of receipt of your appeal, you will be invited to a formal grievance appeal meeting with the Stage 2 Reviewer. You will be given at least five working days’ notice of the meeting. A representative from Human Resources will normally attend the meeting to provide procedural advice and to take notes.

6.5

You are entitled to be accompanied at the formal grievance appeal meeting by a colleague from the central University or a trade union representative. See 3.3 for further details.

6.6

Following the formal grievance appeal meeting, the Stage 2 Reviewer will confirm the outcome to you in writing, normally within five working days of the meeting. Where the Stage 2 Reviewer requires further time to investigate/consider your appeal this will be advised to you in writing, along with an estimate of the additional time required.

6.7

The written outcome will include the Stage 2 Reviewer’s decision in relation to your grievance. The following are possible outcomes of a grievance appeal hearing. The list is not exhaustive and the decision made will depend upon the circumstances of each case:

  • No change to the outcome of the Stage 1 decision
  • Grounds for appeal upheld, either totally or in part
  • Alternative or additional remedial actions imposed

The Stage 2 Reviewer’s decision is final, and there is no further right of appeal.

 

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Human Resources
November 2015

This procedure was subject to an Equality Impact Assessment and the identified actions completed. This has ensured that this policy complies with the terms of the Equality Act (2010) and reflects our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

[The central University will review this procedure within its first year of operation, and periodically thereafter.]

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